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The word I'm looking for means to capitalize the first letter of some words, but I want to use a single verb since I need to say this many times, as in "*** all the words that appear in the table headers".

Is there such a verb?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

When you speak of capitalizing a word, that normally means to capitalize only the first letter. If you were to say "capitalize all the words that appear in the table headers", I believe this would get your meaning across fine (and as always in specifications, a little example goes a very long way).

The only other likely interpretation, putting it in all caps, is not normally expressed that way; usually one would have to say "put the words that appear in the table headers in all caps" to communicate that.

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3  
"Put in all caps" or "uppercase", even. –  RegDwigнt Mar 10 '11 at 21:56
    
For all-caps, I'd say something like "Use uppercase [letters] for table headers". –  Marthaª Mar 10 '11 at 22:43

In the programming community, this activity (capitalizing the first letter of every word) is known as "Propercasing" ...

UPPERCASE

lowercase

Propercase

CamelCase

Title Case (Some Short Words Don't Qualify for Capitalization)

The name "Proper Case" comes from the capitalization rules for proper nouns. See Wikipedia's article on Sentence Case.

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11  
I love that "the programming community" is constituted such that I've been programming for the last 27 years and this is the first time I've encountered this term. –  chaos Mar 10 '11 at 22:10
2  
(sigh; ninja'd) Never come across the term "propercase" before... do you know which programming language or library it originated in, and how widely it's used? –  John Bartholomew Mar 10 '11 at 22:11
    
I don't really know, except to say that it's been in VB since VB4 and that Google search results for "proper case" have info ranging from 1998 to 2011. –  Hellion Mar 10 '11 at 22:23
    
Ok. My own googling suggested that it might be a VB thing. Looks like with the .NET framework MS switched to using the term TitleCase (c.f. TextInfo.ToTitleCase) –  John Bartholomew Mar 10 '11 at 22:32

I agree with chaos, but you could also say "put the table headers in title case".

Unfortunately that doesn't completely remove the ambiguity, since styles vary on whether prepositions, conjunctions and so on should be capitalised. The page linked also mentions start case as having the first letter of every word capitalized, but I must admit I've never seen that term (start case) used before.

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Besides capitalize, my first instinct on the matter, "put into uppercase" could be another option.

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protected by RegDwigнt Feb 24 '12 at 9:33

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